Just had a hardware windfall, do I HTPC it or turn it into a server?


Jul 11, 2016
Life gave my family lemons, so I'm making lemonade.

My wife's father passed away this spring. Her mother doesn't want the computer I built for them last year so it's headed down here to be repurposed. I don't remember all the specs and brands but it has at least last year's Corei5 middle of the road processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, Seasonic ~550W PSU, and a 2TB WD Black HDD. Cute little MicroATX build in a tiny little box that was used for posting antiques for sale and playing Bejeweled by my FiL.

At home, besides my desktop and a couple laptops, we've got a Synology DS213 with 4TB of storage. It's as slow as Christmas but it's been pretty reliable. My desktop, both laptops, and both cell phones backup to it daily and it dumps to Backblaze.

Here's where I'd love your inspiration! Do I toss a spare video card in the box (I've got a GTX670 right here) along with an SSD boot drive and hook it up to the TV? Our only game system is an OG Wii (kids are 8 and 5); our kids play Minecraft on my old iPod Touch. We also have a Roku. That's it. We're simple people. We don't mind not being simple, we just need to keep things cheap.

Other option is to back up the NAS, pull the drives, and turn the new computer into a home server or NAS/HTPC combo. I can do an HTPC, I can do a FreeNAS build, but I want to get as much distance out of this as I can.

So, geniuses of the peanut gallery here: go for it. I can't wait to see what you recommend. I'll also be checking in to answer questions if you need clarification on activities, etc.


Fully [H]
Oct 7, 2000
welcome to the [H].
sorry for your family's loss. as i know all too well, deaths in the family are tough.
and yes you should turn it into an game system to sit next to the wii. get your kids pc gaming a fast as you can so you can expand the PCMR!
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